The Green Party's agreement with the Labour Party will see transport funding re-focused away from roads and into investment in rail, cycling and walking - including light rail from the CBD to the airport in Auckland, which will be paid for by scrapping the East-West motorway link.

The confidence and supply agreement will also see the Government look into a new "Green Transport Card" to reduce the cost of public transport, beginning with low income households and beneficiaries.

Labour has also agreed to a $100 million "Green Investment Fund" to kickstart hopes for $1 billion in new investment in low carbon industries.

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Labour-Greens deal: At a glance
Labour-NZ First coalition: At a glance


The headline move for the Greens, who will hold the Climate Change and Conservation portfolios as well as an Associate Environment role, is the Zero Carbon Act to legislate the two parties' target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

That will result in the establishment of an independent Climate Commission see all new legislation undergo a climate impact assessment.

The commission will be charged with planning a transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035 - which could mean all schools are fitted with solar panels.

It also proposes help to the agricultural sector to reduce emissions and improve water quality - and to "shift to more diverse and sustainable land use including more forestry".

The Green Party has been critical of intensification of stock on farmland.

Both the NZ First and Green agreements include a funding boost for the Department of Conservation.

The Greens' agreement also touches on the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary - but it has different wording to NZ First's and does not specifically mention fishing quota holders. It says the parties will "use best endeavours and work alongside Maori to establish the Kermadec /Rangitahua Ocean Sanctuary)". Labour has also promised to look into the Greens' desire for a large sanctuary near Taranaki to protect the blue whale.

In social policy, the Greens' agreement includes an overhaul of the welfare system, including better access to entitlements and removing "excessive" sanctions on those who breach the rules. It will also get a review of Working for Families.

Other social policy includes work on the gender gap in the core public sector in the first term, and providing more funding to insulate homes.

First home buyers could also benefit from a "rent to own" scheme for the 100,000 homes Labour plans to build under KiwiBuild.

They will also get a review of the family reunification programme for refugees. The referendum on legalising cannabis use will be held by 2020.

Ardern said the Government represented "the greatest majority of votes this election, and we will be a government for all New Zealanders."

Some of the goals in the Labour-Greens agreement were "aspirational" and would require more detailed policy discussions, she added. A model had yet to be decided, for example, on the rent-to-own scheme that will be incorporated into Labour's KiwiBuild.

She said it was time to take the issue of personal cannabis use to the New Zealand public - though Labour had not campaigned on it. She said the public would be consulted about how the question would be asked in the referendum, which would take place by the 2020 election.

Legalising medicinal cannabis would still go ahead as per Labour's 100-day plan, Ardern said.

James Shaw and Jacinda Ardern sign their confidence and supply agreement. Photo / Nick Jones
James Shaw and Jacinda Ardern sign their confidence and supply agreement. Photo / Nick Jones

She declined to answer questions about whether she thought New Zealand First was a more senior partner in the arrangement than the Greens, or whether New Zealand First had asked for the Greens to be excluded from Cabinet.

Shaw has previously said he wanted the Greens to be in Cabinet, but said he changed his mind after receiving advice on various options, and was now happy to be in a confidence and supply agreement. That choice had always been ultimately up to the Greens, he said.

He had still to meet with Winston Peters since the election result was announced, but anticipated he would in the coming days.

Shaw said there was nothing in the Labour-NZF agreement that the Greens would not support.

Shaw said the National-led Government was all about "the headline" when it came to its goal of being predator-free by 2050, but did nothing to back it up. Adequate funding for the Department of Conservation would be forthcoming - but Ardern did not want to predict how much that would be.

Asked about the possible 95 per cent-exemption for agriculture in the ETS, Shaw said it was important to have an "all-gases, all-industries" scheme, and that the Climate Commission would advise on whether agriculture should be included, and when.

He was also excited about measuring New Zealand's success according to the UN sustainable development goals.